Overcoming Stage Fright

I have just delivered Miss 9 to her first dance competition.  I have left her in the capable hands of her  dance teachers for hair and makeup.  Two hours from now I will see her along with two others from our school dance their first competition.  A Lyrical Trio.

Our local arts centre is a buzz with young dancers, anxious dance teachers and mothers.  We all want the best for our daughters, we have all invested a considerable amount of money and time getti536ng them there.  The atmosphere is tainted with external competition and internal questioning, judgement, being good enough, being better.  

I admire my daughter, she is not a diva and I am no dance mum, should that be mom?  Miss 9 has overcome terrible stage fright.  Her father once jumped up mid concert to collect her from stage during a catatonic fit of hysterics during an early performance of Robot No 1 – her first tap number.  She went on to finish the concert with great success and we told her right there and then that she didn’t have to dance another step.  We would find her something else to do.  Our five year old should not be stressed over a two minute tap routine.

Miss 5 wanted to dance.  While she did not give up we did change dance schools.  Miss 9 finished last year performing a solo jazz dance at the end of the year concert.   We were all nervous, and so proud when she finished it beautifully.  Perhaps proud is not the right word because I was already proud of her for not giving up.  For dancing because she loved to dance.  Finishing the dance, performing on that big stage all by herself, that was her battle won.  No one, not me, her dad, or even her teachers could of helped her once she stepped out centre stage.  She did it, all by herself.

I asked Miss 9 how she felt today she told me that she was nerv-cited, a mix of nervous and excited.  She knows that we love her no matter what.  But  I think that because she loves herself,  that she wants to test her own boundaries and face her own fears that she is going to have a great time at comps this week.  She wins in  my book just by turning up.

What have I learned? Show up!  Love yourself enough to give yourself the chance to do the things that you want to do.  Silence your own inner critic long enough for your song to play.




The Balancing Act

Life is a balancing act.  From the basic survival needs of food and shelter to the wants of our modern lives. 

As a mother and wife I need to balance my time between each individual child, my husband and our family group as a whole.  As a friend (confidant/confessor) I need to balance my time between listening and talking, and finally as a writer I need to balance my time between the creative and the practical. 

If one area falls out of balance all others are affected.  If one child draws too much of my individual attention the other will feel isolated, if I talk too much and forget to listen my friends will feel unheard and if I do not nourish my relationship with my husband will he feel  – left out?  Unloved? Neglected?

If I spend too much time on the creative side of my work, who will keep the books?  The tax man will soon come knocking at our door and I will have to sift through the pandoras box that will  become our busniess records.

And of all these balls that I juggle.  What about me? What will become of me if I fall out of balance?  My health, my heart, my sense of purpose, my creativity and my relationships.  I need all these aspects of my life to be in good working order or the scales will tip, the balls will come crashing down and I will land in a heap.

How is it done?  How does everyone else hold it all together? Well, (me of little faith)  I am not convinced that anyone truly does.  I do not know anyone who does not have a messy house at some time, who grabs dinner on the run, who forgets milk, who neglects to call a dear friend, play with a child or make love to her husband.  Show me the ‘perfect’ wife and mother and I will show you a liar. 

If we all do our best and act with love, love of ourselves, our family and our friends, then we are  achieving our purpose, we are making the best of our lives.

Namaste. I honour the place in your where the entire universe resides… a place of light, of love, of truth, of peace, of wisdom. I honour the place in you where when you are in that place and I am in that place there is only one of us.

– Mohandas K. Gandhi